Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Goldwork Pineapple

Sorry for being so absent, I do have an excellent reason for it this time. I've been working very diligently on a piece but I couldn't share anything until it had been gifted. See, my friend's daughter really liked the golden snitch I made for her mother's birthday and asked if I would make something with the same gold thread for her birthday, which was coming up. Not a brooch but something she could hang in her room. After thinking about it, I asked if she'd like a pineapple as I noticed she always wore a necklace with a small pineapple charm. It's a great subject to stitch in goldwork and I've never made one, so I figured it would also make an interesting challenge.

I looked around for a stock image of a pineapple that appealed to me and used that as my design outline.

To give you an idea of how small it is, here is a picture with my hand next to it. I'd already put in the felt padding for the leaves.

I wanted the pineapple to have some dimension and had to really think of how I wanted to do the felt padding. I didn't want it to come out flat, so using a single piece of felt wouldn't have worked even if I put in padding underneath.

So I decided to do it the hard way and individually pad every little cell. The cells in the middle had three layers of padding while others had two or even one if they were along the edge.

(click on the post to see the animation below)

I didn't want to pad the little leaves at the back, but I couldn't leave it white as it would look strange. After a quick color test on the edge of the fabric, I filled it in using a green marker.

I really like this picture as it shows the true color of the felt. For the leaves I went with a simple outline in pearl purl.

I did the same for the cells of the pineapple. 

To fill in the cell of the pineapple, I went through my stash of goldwork materials. I narrowed it down to a few things and created an intricate design.

Unfortunately, once I stitched it I really hated it. It was too fussy and not representative of my tastes at all. I prefer much simpler designs.

I scrapped that idea and decided to change direction. The birthday girl is born in June, which means her birthstone is pearls. Luckily, there is a bead shop near me that stocks Swarovski crystal pearls in the right size and color I'd need.

I've seen how beautiful bright check looks against pearls when I stitched Pearl Butterfly. Luckily I had a stash of it leftover from kits. By the way, all materials I used in this project, except for the pearls, are recycled from other project kits. So look through your stash of leftovers! You probably have enough to stitch a small piece.

After making this decision, I was very happy with how it came out.

I originally planned on putting in cutwork on the leaves with some green rough purl I bought from Turkey, but I decided to pass as I really loved how the leaves looked as they were.

This piece was a very quick stitch. From start to finish it took about 25 odd hours over 9 days. Even less if I don't include the time I spent dithering over what to do. In the next post, I will show you how I finished and framed the piece into a shadow box.

Thursday, June 6, 2019


I haven't been very good at keeping my blog updated all of May. Same thing for Instagram. I've tried putting in time for stitching but I've been fasting all month so by the time end of day arrives, I have very little energy. I spent many evenings curled up in bed catching up on reading while waiting for the sun to come down. The days I did feel like stitching, I limited it to simple cross stitch or whitework. This meant, my mermaids grew by leaps and bounds. I'm half way up the body of the second mermaid. Chances are high it won't be finished by my sister's b-day at the end of June but it will be done before the year ends.

I do have an update on the framing for my bouquet. I'm so happy with how it came out, especially with our choice of mat. We picked an outer mat to match the fabric as closely as we could get it. For the inner mat I wanted the same blue as the orchid as there just wasn't enough of it in the piece. The frame is an old gold, nothing too thick so as to distract from the piece. It's not up yet as no one has had any energy but hopefully this month it will be up on the wall.

Funny story, they had to frame it 3 times. The first night I took it home I found debris under the glass. I took it back the next weekend to open up and remove the debris. We confirmed all was good and they closed it up, but when it was presented to me I found another one. It seems like the glasses got "magnetized" and was picking up bits of fluff. So they had to undo it a second time. They got smarter and brought it out for me to do a final check before they closed it off. Lesson learned always closely inspect your piece before taking it home.